Monday, July 23, 2012

Coming Out Of Hiding (Though After This Post, I Might Need To Go Back)

I'm about to do something a trifle unusual: I'm going to start a discussion for which I do not have my traditional ABSOLUTE RIGHT ANSWER. Understandably, this bothers me. I trust in my nearly-unwavering rightness about most everything, and coming face to face with an issue that I don't have a blanket opinion for is frankly disorienting.

Obviously, I'm talking about guns because we're all talking about guns these days.

So, the first thing that probably needs to be said is how I too have been struck by the terribly awful no-good very-bad shooting in Aurora. That it has occupied my brain since I heard about it.

And the second thing that needs to be said is that I'm not sure it changes my opinions on anything.

My facebook friends have poured out their indignation at guns, the NRA, congresspeople who oppose gun control - all good, solid liberal positions.

And all completely beside the point in this instance.

Crazy people don't follow the laws of the land. That this nutball lunatic used guns bought legally to murder people does nothing to persuade me that he wouldn't have gone around collecting illegal guns should he have been thwarted in his attempts to buy legal ones. Why? Because he's a farking lunatic who wanted to kill people and if he wasn't hung up on the legality of that, he wasn't going to be hung up on the legality of weapons acquisition. Just Say No hasn't worked for addicts and I'm not sure that the gun control debate can be watered down in the same way: people who want to kill other people will find a way to get the guns to do so. Like how people seem to find all the cocaine they need. Gun control would not have prevented this act of a madman - it may have delayed it, but it would not have prevented it. Illegal guns are too easy to eventually get and, again, people who desperately want to kill other people find a way.

My personal feelings on guns are murky at best. I don't know what I think our position as a country, or even as a state, should be. I don't personally dislike guns. I'd like to feel comfortable using one and adding it to my list of life skills. I don't think people who like guns are any crazier person-to-person than people who like veganism (this is a lie, I would choose the gun nut over the vegan any day of the week). I don't think my lifetime will see scenarios where an armed insurrection against a corrupt government will be necessary.

But, then again, I'm not sure I'd be willing to bet my life on it...

I think that the yammering from pro-gun people and anti-gun people needs to simmer down long enough for them both to agree that neither is crazy about illegal guns. I think everyone can agree that it would be better for there to be fewer illegal guns. It's less politically charged of an issue and more suitable to legislation and enforcement that the current impasse about legal guns.

But whatever your feelings about guns, please do not be swayed by the media, your friends, facebook, the aliens that whisper to you at night: access to guns did not create the bloodshed in Colorado. A crazy person did. If anything, blaming the guns allows us to stop blaming him. And we should all be spending all of our time blaming the F out of him.